I live on 4th floor of a seven-storey building. It's been a month since I noticed these strange things growing on my ceiling. It looks like mud when observed closely.

At first I cleared it with brush which can be seen in the picture as light stains. But it grew again. The darker one is how it looks like now.

The other side of the wall from which this thing grows is the bathroom. Above the bathroom there is a small compartment for storing things. The door of the compartment can be seen in the picture.

I've never seen anything like this. What is this thing? And how can I get rid of it? As mentioned above clearing with a brush doesn't help.



  • 15
    Looks like termite tubes.
    – bib
    Jun 14, 2017 at 11:53
  • 1
    I google it and its not like most of the images. It doesn't hang from the ceiling. Instead it it attached fully to the ceiling. Jun 14, 2017 at 12:01
  • 3
    scrape most of it off, leave some. Mark the end with a pencil. Check regularly for a change in length, scrape some of the new growth off and inspect it for working insects. Using a brush will obliterate live insects.
    – Yorik
    Jun 14, 2017 at 21:46
  • 2
    @HotLicks: if you look at where the previous "growth" was scraped off, there are clearly no cracks there. This is insect activity, not water.
    – Martha
    Jun 15, 2017 at 0:47
  • 2
    This is classic termite mud tunnels. What is the material of the structural beams of the building--steel or wooden timbers? In New Orleans LA USA I have seen substantial houses with heavy timber beams supporting the raised floor above ground level that have been replaced with steel due to termite damage to the original timber beams. Some of these beams were from baldcypress which is resistant to rot, but not to termites. Jun 15, 2017 at 18:52

3 Answers 3


It may not be termites but it looks likes some kind of insect infestation. I would contact either the building owner or a local pest exterminator. What ever the tunnels are made of is likely building material. I would recommend doing this quickly before there is structural damage to the building.


Not that it's for sure termites. But this is how termites get place to place in well lit areas. You'll commonly find these types of tunnels from the ground, up the cement portion of a foundation, and into the structure. Since not all insects like light, this is how they do it.

For sure call an exterminator for a full evaluation.


Those are mud tubes created by ground termites. They search for food during the day and go back into the ground at night, then start the process all over again the next day. That is why the tubes keep coming back after you sweep them away with your broom.

There is a white looking termiticide chemical (that the termites think is food) you can squirt into the termite holes in your ceiling and they will take it back to their nest in the ground and it will kill them.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.